Dark Lords, by Gamehunter, is a recently released side-scrolling RTS game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It features two different races, more than 10 different types of units, an upgrade system, and beautiful silhouette graphics. However, what really sets Dark Lords apart from other games of its kind is its ability to capture the chaos and epic proportions that a real war contains.
In Dark Lords, you can play as either a human or demon lord. Both of them have their respective strengths and weaknesses, so once you have finished playing as one race, you can start anew with a different strategy with the other. Currently there are two modes – a campaign and a challenge mode. Campaign mode is where you will unlock all the units, upgrades, and spells, whereas Challenge mode is Dark Lords’s version of various survival modes. Sadly, there is no real story in Campaign mode, and Dark Lords could have been much more immersing had there been an interesting plot in the game. Thankfully, the gameplay still makes for a very enjoyable experience despite this shortcoming.
For each of the stages in Campaign mode there are three difficulty levels; Easy, Medium, and Hard. While the enemy does get more powerful units as you go across the map, only the Medium and Hard difficulties provide any challenge. As each difficulty for any stage is beaten for the first time, one AP point is gained, which can be used to spend on upgrades in the shop. Though the Easy difficulty is an extreme pushover, it gives you much-needed AP points so you can stand a change against the computer in the harder levels. Replaying levels does not give you more AP, but new difficulty levels do.
The units in Dark Lords comprise of a vast variety of soldiers, from axemen to grim reapers, and each unit has its specific role in the fight. You can upgrade unit abilities too – for example, undead soldiers can be made to resurrect once after death, and knights can get a charging ability and a more powerful lance. The upgrade system in Dark Lords is truly astounding.
Another incentive for playing the game is how beautiful the graphics and effects are in Dark Lords. The silhouette units marching across the screen through the game’s night/day cycle look great, the various effects make the dark battlefield strewn with blood and fire, and the death animations suffice. In addition, one of Dark Lords’s main advantages over its competitors is that while most side scrolling RTS’s only send out a soldier at a time and create a feeling of a minor skirmish, Dark Lords sends out multiple soldiers in each unit so that the feeling of a full-scale battle is really captured.
All in all, Dark Lords is one of the best side scrolling RTS games out there and it is definitely worth the purchase, especially at the current 99 cent Thanksgiving sale price point.